During the time of the Incas, the Quechua people made suspension bridges, made of vegetable fibers, to cross the rugged geography of the Andes mountain range and thus connect some communities with others. Q’eswachaka is the last Inca bridge “alive” today, which is renewed every year for its conservation.
Three and a half hours from the city of Cusco, in the district of Quehue and at an altitude of 3,700 meters, is the Q’eswachaka bridge over the Apurimac River, which measures 29 meters long and 1.20 meters wide. Every year, during the second week of June, the communities of Chaupibanda, Choccayhua, Huinchiri and Ccollana Quehue gather for their renewal.
This process begins days before, when the inhabitants go out in search of the q’oya, a resistant vegetable fiber used for the construction of the bridge. Once collected, it is left to dry for a day, before being hit with stones and soaked to harden. Once this process is finished, the q’iswa is made, which is the union of several q’oyas to form a rope. All members of the family participate in this elaboration. With the q’iswas prepared, everything is ready for the renovation of the bridge, a process that takes three days and includes a series of rituals and offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (mountains).
THE LAST QESWACHACA BRIDGE + 4 LAGOONS
Queshuachaca (in Quechua, Q’ichwachaka, local pronunciation: [q’eswɐˈt͡ʃɐkɐ] or [q’eʃwɐˈt͡ʃɐkɐ]) is a rope bridge built from vegetable fiber (ichu) found in the district of Quehue, province of Canas in the department of Cuzco at 3700 meters above sea level, crossing the Apurimac River. The existence of this bridge dates back to the Inca era and its maintenance and renovation is carried out through a ritual carried out by the communities of Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Ccollana Quehue and Choccayhua.
The bridge is 28 meters long and 1.20 meters wide, its structure is basically made of long strips of braided ichu.
HOTEL-PLAZA SAN FRANCISCO
05:00 am – 18:00 pm
We will start our adventure with the pick up from the hotels. We will leave at 5:00 am, where we will begin our journey for approximately 3 hours until we reach the Combapata community, where we will stop to use the toilets and enjoy breakfast. Then we will go to the Combapata viewpoint where we will be able to appreciate a panoramic view of the union of two rivers called Rio Vilcanota and Sallca, continuing we will visit the pabellones volcano in the Yanaoca district, and for a further 1 hour we will arrive at the district of Q ‘ewe where the famous Inca bridge of “Q’eswachaka” is located, which is built from vegetable fiber and has a length of 28.67 meters. The surprising thing is that it is rebuilt once a year in the month of June by four local communities, in this place we will have some time to explore Q’eswachaka and the surrounding area, while your guide will narrate the history of this Inca engineering work. . After visiting the bridge we will go to Combapata, the chosen place to enjoy lunch.
After lunch we will do a digestive walk of 15 to 20 minutes, where we will appreciate the Lagoons of: Pampamarca, Asnacqocha, Acopía and Pomacanchi taking advantage to observe a large amount of regional flora and fauna experiencing an enriched Andean culture and returning to Cusco we will make a stop at the Rumipunku Portal (this stop will be optional) to finally return to Cusco